A Blog On Dental Care

About Human Teeth

Teeth are the most typical and long-lasting feature not only for human beings but also for every mammals. The hard material of the tooth is composed of calcium, phosphorus, and other mineral salts. The material in the majority of the tooth is called dentine. The hard, shiny layer that you brush is called the enamel. The shape of every animal’s teeth is related to its diet. For example, plant matter is hard to digest, so herbivores have many molars for chewing. Carnivores, on the other hand, need canines to kill prey and to tear meat.

Human teeth is diphyodont, means they develop two sets of teeth. In humans, the first set normally starts to appear at about six months of age, although some babies are born with one or more visible teeth, known as neonatal teeth. Normal tooth eruption at about six months is known as teething and can be painful.

If you are interested in knowing more about Tooth Eruption refer the attachment

Types Of Human Teeth

There are four different types of teeth in the mouth of an adult human. The complete dentition of an adult person has 32 teeth. The adult human teeth show a morphology mainly differentiated by the shape of their upper surface (crown) and the number of the tooth roots. Individual tooth morphology is associated with the purpose of each tooth type (cutting, shredding or grinding the food).

The four different types of human teeth are:
Incisors or the Cutting Teeth

The 8 incisors are the very front human teeth with rather flat surfaces, a straight sharp horizontal edge for cutting and biting the food and one long, single, conical root.

Canine Teeth
The 4 canine teeth are very strong, pointed corner teeth for tearing and shredding, placed laterally to each lateral incisor. They are larger and stronger than the incisors.
The canine tooth morphology is characterized by the large, conical crown which projects beyond the level of the other teeth and one single root, longer than all other human teeth types. The upper canine teeth are sometimes called eyeteeth.

Premolars or Bicuspid teeth
The 8 premolars, used for the chewing of the food, are placed lateral to and behind the canine teeth, with a flat upper surface and 1-2 roots. Their crown has two pyramidal eminences or cusps.

Molars or Molar teeth

The 12 molars are the back human teeth. Molar teeth have a much different tooth morphology with large and flat upper surface and 2-4 roots. Molars is the one of types of teeth with the largest of the permanent teeth, used for the final chewing and grinding of the food before swallowing. (mola is the latin word for mill).
The third molars are also known as wisdom teeth.

Teeth Anatomy

A tooth is basically made up of two parts: the crown and the root.
The crown is what you see when you smile or open your mouth. It's the part that sits above your gumline. The root is below the gumline. It makes up about 2/3rds of the tooth's total length. Four different tissues make up each tooth.
The enamel is the durable, white covering. Enamel protects the tooth from the wear and tear of chewing.
The enamel on your teeth is the hardest substance in your body.

Dentin supports the enamel on your teeth. It's a yellow bone-like material that's softer than enamel and carries some of the nerve fibres that tell you when something is going wrong inside your tooth.

The Pulp is the centre of the tooth. It's a soft tissue that contains blood and lymph vessels, and nerves. The pulp is how the tooth receives nourishment and transmits signals to your brain.

Cementum is what covers most of the root of the tooth. It helps to attach the tooth to the bones in your jaw. A cushioning layer called the Periodontal Ligament sits between the cementum and the jawbone. It helps to connect the two.

If you are interested more in learning about the teeth anatomy just follow these links

Dental diseases
Dental disease is understood by most people to be either Tooth Decay (Dental Caries) or Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease).

Tooth Decay. This is the form of dental disease which affects the hard substance – enamel - of the tooth. It results in parts of the tooth being destroyed and if it not attended to by having the decay removed and replaced with a filling, then the tooth could eventually might need to be root treated or extracted.

Gum Disease. This is the form of dental disease which affects those structures which support the tooth in the jaw bone. It comprises the bone surrounding the tooth roots, the fibres by which the tooth root is suspended in the bone and it also includes the soft gum tissue that surrounds the tooth.
Bacteria are found in large numbers in a healthy mouth and it is only when certain factors in their surrounding environment occur that they are activated to cause dental disease.
In both Tooth Decay and Gum Disease an activating agent is refined carbohydrate –from the diet – especially sugars of which sucrose – the common sugar used in confectionery etc is the biggest offender.

Tooth Decay (Dental Caries) starts when bacteria on the surface of the tooth react with sugar to produce acid which attacks the hard surface of the tooth – enamel - leaving microscopic pits in it. Bacteria invade these pits and the process of acid production can repeat itself over and over again with the resultant continuing destruction of tooth substance. The process of tooth decay can be represented by the equation

Bacteria + Sugar = Acid Production = Tooth Decay (Dental Caries)

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease) starts when bacteria inhabiting the groove (sulcus) which exists between the gum tissue and the surface of the tooth, including the area between the teeth, react with sugar to produce toxins (poisons to healthy human tissue). These toxins cause the surrounding soft gum tissue to get inflamed and it swells. The swollen gum tissue houses more bacteria and the process of generating more toxins continues. The disease can progress to such a degree that the bone supporting the tooth becomes destroyed and the tooth becomes loose and may eventually have to be extracted. The process of gum disease can be represented by the equation

Bacteria + Sugar = Toxin Production = Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

How To prevent Dental Disease?

From the two equations shown above it can be seen that by removing any one item on the left of the equation it will interrupt the disease process involved.
So that if you remove sugar from the diet then both processes would end. However it is totally impractical to remove sugars from your diet when you consider that even foods which are acidic in taste, e.g. pickles; have a high content of sugar.
The more realistic and most important thing you can do is to remove all the bacteria from all the tooth surfaces, including those surfaces between the teeth which are more difficult to reach. This action will prevent both tooth decay and gum disease.
The only practical way to remove the bacteria from all the sites involved is by
Tooth Brushing and Flossing and Interdental Brushing

Other Preventive Measures

The most important additional single measure you can take to reduce the incidence of dental decay is to use a toothpaste containing fluoride. The fluoride combines with the calcium apatite – the main structure of dental enamel – to make the enamel much harder and therefore more resistant to acid attack.
Avoid eating between meals especially sweet things.
Avoid drinking acidic fruit juices and sweet drinks between meals. If you do indulge then try to drink some water as soon after as possible. This will dilute or remove the acid in your mouth.
Chew a piece of sugar free gum for up to 20 minutes after eating. Chewing gum stimulates your saliva production which is alkaline and assists in neutralising any acid present.
To brush properly you can have a look at these links